Join CFT for the unique opportunity to see the glorious Oberammergau Passion Play with fellow Christians before a spectacular 9-day cruise down the beautiful Danube. Experience the natural wonders of the Danube Delta and the dramatic scenery of Iron Gates Gorge. Explore fascinating Eastern European cities and ancient historic towns.
Enjoy a relaxing itinerary and a chance to really connect with likeminded people. Come with CFT as we combine a luxurious Avalon river cruise holiday with the Passion Play for a wonderfully enriching spiritual journey.
Passion Play & Danube River Cruise - Oberammergau 2022
Passion Play & Danube River Cruise - Oberammergau 2022
A Christian Tour Leader throughout the holiday
Return economy airfares to Europe via Dubai
7 day Danube cruise with excursions
Quality hotel accommodation with private facilities
Sightseeing as outlined and all entry fees
Luggage assistance at hotels
An evening flight from Australia (Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) takes us through to Dubai for an early morning arrival and where we have arranged for the hotel rooms to be ready on arrival.
Following an early morning transfer from the airport to the hotel you will have time for a shower and change in our hotel rooms that will be arranged to check in early. Later in the day we will have a guided tour of this amazing new city, resplendent with stunning skyscrapers and towers it is an architectural oasis in the desert. Tonight, enjoy a group dinner in a local restaurant overlooking the dancing fountain show.
This morning we fly to Europe arriving in Frankfurt in the early afternoon. Once one of the most important cities of the Holy Roman Empire, and the site of imperial coronations, Frankfurt is still a global hub for commerce, culture, education, tourism and transportation.
Today you can enjoy a day at leisure – explore Frankfurt’s Alt Stadt (Old City) including the Romerberg where the reconstructed gabled halftimbered buildings give an idea of how beautiful the city’s medieval core once was. Visit the nearby medieval Lutheran church of St Nicholas which was lucky to sustain only minor damage during the war. Enjoy your choice of many museums, including the Goethe House, or simply browse the shops and relax at a café. Tonight, we will join together to share our experiences and enjoy a group dinner.
We leave Frankfurt and travel to the “fairytale” walled town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Considered the best-preserved medieval town in all of Germany, Rothenburg offers photo opportunities everywhere you turn. Enjoy a walking tour and soak up the sights including the splendid renaissance Town Hall which dominates the beautiful Market Square. Along with the Rathaus we will visit the Kriminal Museum and the famous Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village. We drive further south to the Bavarian capital of Munich where we will enjoy traditional German food in a local restaurant.
Explore the best Munich has to offer with our city tour. Visit historic Marienplatz, the city’s central square since 1158; famous for the Glockenspiel, Marienplatz is named for the Marian Column and is dominated by the New Town Hall and the reconstructed gothic Old Town Hall. Wander the grounds of the superb Nymphenburg Palace,
once the summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs and one of the largest royal palaces in Europe. In the afternoon we will travel onto Oberammergau, a small village in the Bavarian Alps. As well as the Passion Play, Oberammergau is famed for its buildings adorned with incredible Biblical murals, the best known being the House of Pilate. Since the 1500’s Oberammergau has been renowned for its woodcarving and each day a “Living Workshop” within the “Pilatushaus” showcases the skill of some of the 60 local woodcarvers. If we are lucky, we may even witness the “birth” of a wooden figurine.
This is the day we have long been anticipating, a chance to experience the unique event that is the original Passion Play. Since 1634 the Villagers of Oberammergau have performed the “Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ” once every 10 years to fulfil their solemn oath to God. In 2022 it will be the 42nd time the Community of Oberammergau have performed the Passion Play that they have preserved throughout the centuries. Our wonderful day will begin with Sunday worship and then a relaxed morning looking around the small village of Oberammergau. We will have a light lunch before the Passion Play starts in the afternoon (dinner will be served during intermission). Be prepared to be swept away by music and singing of breathtaking beauty, a memorable performance that takes you on an emotional journey. All in all, a truly marvellous way to spend a Sunday!
We farewell Oberammergau and return to Munich for a chance to explore this beautiful city at leisure. Religion has long been an important part of Munich and this is reflected in the city’s many churches, chapels and the magnificent Gothic Frauenkirche Cathedral. Since 1488 this beloved landmark has dominated the city centre (and always will since buildings over 100m are now prohibited) – the climb up the south tower will reward you with a magnificent view. There are also many wonderful museums to visit in Munich. The Residenz is one of the most important palace museums in Europe and houses an incredible collection of treasures from Bavaria’s past rulers. The oldest room within it is the Antiquarium, built in 1571 it is the largest and most lavish Renaissance hall north of the Alps.
Today we will fly onto Bucharest, Romania’s Capital city, where our coach and local guide will meet us at the airport. We travel to the Black Sea and one of Romania’s natural treasures, the Danube Delta region.
The Danube is Europe’s second longest river; from its source in the Black Forest to its delta at the Black Sea, the Danube measures 2,845 kilometers in length. This morning we will enjoy an excursion to the river’s source in the Danube Delta. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved of Europe’s deltas, this area is a nature lover’s paradise, hosting over 300 species of birds as well as 45 species of freshwater fish. Wonder in the glory of God’s Creation. We return to Bucharest where our hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the city and enjoys views of Revolution Square.
Much recent history has taken place in Romania’s capital city, and its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe—built in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI—have gained it the name “Paris of the East.” During our city tour we will see the main sights including Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. Later we will travel by coach to Oltenita, embark on our river cruise vessel and meet the ship’s crew at a welcome reception. The beautiful Danube River awaits!
We dock this morning in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. From here we will do a coach excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. The oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress, and the Patriarch’s Church. With our Local Guide we will discover how this town played an important role in Bulgaria’s history. We then journey to Arbanassi, an historic village founded in the 15th century. The village is best known for its examples of Bulgarian Revival architecture with a 400-year-old house preserved as its Ethnographical Museum. Visit the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest churches
in Arbanassi, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. We return to the ship after a memorable day spent ashore.
A leisurely morning of cruising before we arrive in Vidin, an important Danube port in northwestern Bulgaria. The medieval fortress of Baba Vidin is the town’s primary landmark; once the town’s main defensive installation during the Middle Ages it is now the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. In nearby Belogradchik, view the eclectic group of Rock Formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and with a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are spectacular! This evening enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.
A wonderful way to spend a Sunday as we glory in God’s creation taking in the scenery of the dramatic gorge of the Iron Gates. This narrow, formerly very dangerous passage divides Europe’s Alps in the northwest from the Carpathians in the southeast and forms a natural border between Serbia and Romania. A tour to Lepenski Vir, an important Mesolithic archaeological site chronicling prehistoric cultures, settlements, and art. Marvel at the ancient discoveries and artifacts, as well as the unique views the site affords of the Danube Gorge. Visit the Fortress of Goluba, located on the south side of the Danube it is one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. Learn about its tumultuous history as a border control defense in the Middle Ages, and a source of conflict between Serbia, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire.
An early morning arrival in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and one of the oldest cities in Europe. The city is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers and we will see the main sights with a local guide, including St. Sava, the world’s largest orthodox church. After our tour we will have time at leisure to explore the city’s lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafés. Alternatively, you may wish to attend
an Onboard Lecture to learn about the rich history, destinations, and culture of the Balkan states.
OPTIONAL BOHEMIAN DINNER
Enjoy an authentic Bohemian Dinner in the Quarter of Skadarlija. Book onboard.
This morning we will explore the beautiful Novi Sad, which stands atop a riverside bluff. Our guided tour will show us the Austro-Hungarian old town, with its baroque buildings, as well as the Petrovaradin Fortress which dates to the 17th and 18th centuries. Enjoy lunch as we cruise across the border to Croatia and visit medieval Ilok with its fortified
town centre. This area has been famous for viniculture since Roman times and the winemaking tradition is still thriving.
This morning we disembark and journey to the ancient town of Pécs, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Founded by the Romans in the 2nd century, Pecs is known for its architectural landmarks. We will visit an Early Christian Mausoleum to admire the splendidly decorated frescoed tombs featuring Christian themes. In the town centre the vast Pécs Cathedral towers over the Szent István Square and you can see the legacy of the 16th century Ottoman occupation with Pécs a rich showcase of Turkish architecture. We then make our way to charming Hungarian capital of Budapest, one
of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. They city’s eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves—connect ancient Buda on the right bank with flat Pest on the left. If you wish you can choose to walk across the 19th century Chain Bridge, the symbol of Budapest, to Buda Castle directly opposite.
Today a guided tour will show us the city’s highlights including Heroes’ Square and the massive hilltop castle complex of Buda Castle. First completed in 1265 it was further developed with the massive Baroque palace built between 1749 and 1769. This complex includes the 11th century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs, and the remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion which offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and Danube. This afternoon you will have time at leisure to further explore the Old City, tour the Parliament or visit St. Stephen’s Basilica with its marvelous views of the city from its viewing platform. Tonight we will celebrate our final group dinner in Europe.
Take time for some last minute sightseeing or shopping in this beautiful city – Váci Utca is considered one of the best pedestrian streets in the world with a vast array of shops and cafés and the Central Market Hall is worth visiting if you want to shop for authentic souvenirs such as Herend porcelain or handcrafted embroidery. Over shopping? Simply soak up the city’s coffee house culture when you visit the 150 year’s old Café Gerbeaud, one of the greatest and most traditional coffeehouses in Europe. Enjoy a delicious cake or ice cream in grand style as you sit surrounded by stucco decorations, immense chandeliers and paneling and furniture made of exotic woods.
We farewell Budapest to depart for the airport and our flight to Dubai.
Today is a full day of leisure in Dubai. Your Tour Leader will be able to help you in your choice – you might like to visit the famous Dubai Mall, explore the Gold and Spice Souks or choose one of the many optional tours (available to book on arrival). Tonight, we will enjoy dinner together at the hotel.
After breakfast we reflect on how blessed we have been to share such a wonderful time together. We will farewell members of our group before being transferred to the airport for our various flights home to Australia.
Morning arrival in Australia. Our holiday may be at an end but the people we have met, the places we have seen and the incredible experiences we have shared are sure to live on in our memories.
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